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'Night Theater': Surgery, Corruption, and Chekhov

The well-timed choreography of Vikram Paralkar's Night Theater leads us to interrogate the unfamiliar notes of our personal harmonies.

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Short Stories: Beginnings and Endings

These five short stories—by Naguib Mahfouz, Carmen Maria Machado, Niven Govinden, Margaret Atwood, and Wole Talabi—are about new beginnings. They're also about those unsettling endings that aren't really endings.

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Short Stories: Siblings

Whatever the plot lines of a work of fiction, if it features siblings as important characters, various rich themes are mined. This issue of Short Stories brings forth the sibling-inspired works of Martha Bátiz, K Anis Ahmed, Jenny Zhang, Lidudumalingani, and Kseniya Melnik.

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Short Stories: Tales of Love in Later Life

In the works of Elizabeth Taylor, Toni Cade Bambara, Lucia Berlin, Amy Bloom, and Yiyun Li, we meet older women protagonists who find potential later-life loves in all kinds of interesting ways.

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Short Stories: Journeys

The protagonists in these short stories by Asako Serizawa, Nanjil Nadan, Goli Taraghi, Stephen King, and John Cheever are unsettled, vulnerable, and unmoored during their journeys.

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Speculation and Responsibility in 'A People's Future of the United States'

Speculative futures should go beyond merely reflecting the fears peddled by news and social media. Anthology A People's Future of the United States at times pushes those boundaries.

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Short Stories: Animals, Part II

The selected stories this month have a touch or more of surrealism and their writers — Daniel Mallory Ortberg, Sarah Hall, Robert Olen Butler, Beth Goder, and Jackie Kay — explore the humanity of our species and our relationships with other living species.

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'All the Lives We Ever Lived' Finds Comfort in Mourning with Virginia Woolf

These days, when personal grief becomes a public performance on social media, it's heartening to have a book such as Katharine Smyth's All the Lives We Ever Lived, wherein deep introspection is given space and literature provides both solace and inspiration.

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Short Stories: Animals, Part I

Animals of all kinds have featured in fiction for as long as we have produced fiction. Here are five engaging stories about cats, dogs, herons, and cows by Sarah Orne Jewett, P. G. Wodehouse, R. L. Maizes, Parashar Kulkarni, and R. O. Kwon.

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Bringing Forth the Male Gaze in 'Preeto & Other Stories'

The male writers in the anthology, Preeto & Other Stories, have been selected because each wrote extensively, if sometimes idealistically and sentimentally, about women.

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Short Stories: Women in the Workplace

Lucia Berlin, Na'am al-Baz, Mia Alvar, Hananah Zaheer, and Laura van den Berg share the seldom-told stories of women's lives in the blue- and white-collar worlds.

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Short Stories: The 12 Best Collections of 2018

Short Stories columnist Jenny Bhatt presents the finest of this year's short stories collections from a wide range of authors that have no fear of pushing the boundaries.

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What Commands Your Behaviors? On 'Rule Makers, Rule Breakers'

In Rule Makes, Rule Breakers, Michele Gelfand gives many examples — both historical and contemporary — to prove how the customs that have shaped worldviews, behaviors, identities, and personal lives in any particular culture have originated from underlying perceptions of threat.

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Short Stories: Parties

Five memorably unique parties presented by Katherine Mansfield, Banaphool (tr. Arunava Sinha), Joshua Ferris, Nina McConigley, and Kirsten Valdez Quade.

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'Half Gods' and Painful Fragments

In debut short story collection Half Gods, Akil Kumarasamy gives us the painful fragments of her characters' experiences with care, as if she is handing us shards of broken glass.

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Short Stories: American Writers of South Asian Origin

In the US in this year alone there have been new short story collections by at least five fine writers with origins in the Indian subcontinent: Vandana Singh; Akil Kumarasamy; Neel Patel; Chaya Bhuvaneswar; and Anita Felicelli.

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On Sound and Rhythm in Text: Angela Leighton's 'Hearing Things'

Imaginative listening while reading, as Leighton demonstrates so masterfully, is not only a form of cognition but also a physical experience as we read or write literary texts.

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Short Stories: Characters Inspired by People in Politics

These five short stories — by Roxane Gay, Jeff VanderMeer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, George Saunders, and Curtis Sittenfeld — fictionalize the personal lives of American presidents, a wannabe president, and a president's spouse.

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On Rainer Maria Rilke's Letters on Loss: 'The Dark Interval'

Letter-writing allowed Rainer Maria Rilke to turn intimate one-on-one communication into a carefully-crafted artifact in its own right that transcended time itself.

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A. M. Homes' 'Days of Awe' and the Art of Writing Dialogue

Each story here could well be a masterclass in the art of writing dialogue as Homes employs it throughout to do much more than simply reveal character or move the story along.

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Short Stories: Women in Translation

To celebrate Women in Translation month, we bring short stories (and a novel that's like a collection of short stories) by women in translation: Olga Tokarczuk; Sayaka Murata; Mahasweta Devi; Malika Moustadraf; Dorthe Nors.

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'Alone Time' and the Joys of Solitary, Mindful Travel

Rosenbloom's book is a companion guide for the solo traveler. Covering four cities over four seasons, she proves that solo travel can provide enriching joys, sensual pleasures, and rewarding adventures.

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On Roxane Gay's Republished Short Stories 'Ayiti' and the Stifled Norms of the Publishing Industry

Perhaps some gatekeepers are realizing that the challenging short story form proves a writer's chops and future longevity with more certainty than a debut novel.

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Nowhere Is a Place in Tatyana Tolstaya's 'Aetherial Worlds'

The short stories in Aetherial Worlds poignantly merge past, present, and fantasy through auto-fiction, essayistic pieces, and allegorical tales.

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